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School Secrets: 5 things to know about Suffolk

Posted by Alex Pearlman  May 5, 2012 05:35 PM

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suffolk university logo.jpgBy Melissa Werthmann

In 1906, a young lawyer by the name of Gleason L. Archer founded the Suffolk School of Law, which grew into the more diverse Suffolk University. The school currently has about 9,500 students, and many of its graduates have gone on to become successful politicians and authors. Popular YouTube personality Jenna Marbles even holds a degree from Suffolk.

Here are five great things about life at Suffolk.

Suffolk sits on some prime real estate. Suffolk's campus is located right in Beacon Hill, next to the State House and Mass. Supreme Judicial Court, and students love it.

“[Suffolk's campus is] right in the heart of the city,” said Mike Giannattasio, a senior public relations major. “Suffolk may not be the first name people talk about when they talk about Boston colleges, but I think it’s the best-kept secret.”

To get from class to class, students walk right past several of Boston’s major historical monuments and landmarks, said senior psychology and history major Zachary Montalto, adding that the school's location leads to a lot of job opportunities. Many students see the non-traditional campus as a major selling point.

“The best part about it is there are no walls,” said Matt Boniface, a senior information systems and global business major. “Literally, it’s like us against the world every day.”

Who doesn't love a nice bubble bath after a long day of class? Suffolk students can choose to live in one of the school's four residence halls: 150 Tremont St., 10 Somerset St., 10 West St., or a building on the corner of West Street and Washington Street. The 10 West complex, along with being a LEED Gold-certified building, happens to be a renovated hotel, which means there are some pretty sweet perks.

“Our residence halls are amazing,” Giannattasio said. “We had a jacuzzi hot tub [in 10 West], which was pretty awesome.”

With such lush living quarters, it should come as no surprise that Suffolk's room and board costs are the third highest in the country.

Suffolk rewards good behavior with stars. Suffolk’s Journey program is based on the foundations of service, involvement, leadership, and career exploration. “Basically, it’s a four-corner leadership experience designed to follow you through your four years,” said sophomore American politics and policy major Pat Munnelly, but students can join the program at any time.

Journey participants receive stars for various activities, such as being an RA, orientation leader, or TA, or even just attending an event. Once a Journey student receives 10 stars, he moves up to the next of the program's four levels. Each level comes with a unique experience, from hiking and camping to swimming with manatees in Florida and taking and underground tour of Disney World. Level four students can even participate in an exchange program; Giannattasio said he traveled to Ireland and South Carolina to learn about educational differences between schools in Boston and schools elsewhere.

“The great thing about this whole program is that it’s mostly free,” said Munnelly, who recently moved to level three of the program.

voting ballot.jpgSuffolk's polling center predicts the future. The Suffolk University Political Research Center (SUPRC), which provides information and statistics on numerous political events, is known for its accuracy: Since opening in 2002, SUPRC officials have used their successful polling techniques to correctly predict the outcomes of several political events.

Students with an interest in politics (or perhaps just an interest in seeming psychic) can learn from SUPRC's polling masters, too. Suffolk professor and SUPRC director David Paleologos teaches a class in which students learn how to conduct effective polls and complete research, Munnelly said.

Suffolk is one big melting pot. With 12 percent of its student body hailing from countries other than the U.S., Suffolk is one of the top five Northern universities with the most international students. The school's diverse population gives students a unique perspective and allows for interesting conversation and a rich community.

“Definitely, hands down, without a doubt, it’s very, very very diverse," said Montalto.

Suffolk’s Madrid campus strengthens this diversity. Many students start out attending classes in Spain, then decide to continue their education in Boston.

“There are a lot of kids that are coming over here," Montalto said, "so you get a broad range of interest and knowledge about places.”

Hey, Suffolk students, what's the best thing about your school?

Interested in more 'School Secrets'? Find out what's weird and wacky about life at Northeastern, BU, BC, Harvard, MIT, and Emerson, and check back for fun facts about the rest of Boston's institutions of higher education.

Photo (bottom) by functoruser (Flickr)

About Melissa -- I'm a journalism student at Northeastern University, originally from New Jersey. I love hiking, kayaking, and cereal, and I am a vegetarian. I'm afraid of nothing, except butterflies. I love Disney movies, and I hope to one day meet Betty White.

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